Blue River Home Inspections & Services
Requests? Call 970-389-7006
Additional Services -Radon Testing, Water Testing,
Mold presence, Infrared scan
Radon is prevalent in Summit County due to uranium in the soil. Radon which is a gas from the ground is the leading cause of lung cancer. Radon testing is crucial to figure out if you need Radon mitigation.
When testing for RADON we use E-PERM (electret ion chambers) supplied by RAD ELEC Inc. exclusively at all properties. These radon measuring devices have proven to be very accurate, at least as accurate as continuous monitors in all cases.
During winter 2013 our radon measuring equipment detected a high radon reading in a third floor condominium high above a half carport on the ground level and half crawl space under the first floor condo. This was unprecedented and confirmed by another test done by a competitor system.
How E-PERMs® Work
An E-PERM®, also known as an Electret Ion Chamber (EIC), is a passive integrating ionization monitor consisting of a very stable electret mounted inside a small chamber made of electrically conducting plastic. The electret, a charged Teflon® disk, serves as both the source for ion collection and as the integrating ion sensor. Negative ions produced inside the chamber are collected on the positively charged electret, causing a reduction of its surface charge. The measurement of the depleted charge during the exposure period is a measure of integrated ionization during the measurement period. The electret charge is read before and after the exposure using a specially built non-contact electret voltage reader referred to as the SPER-1 Electret Voltage Reader. Using this data as input to the appropriate formula, one can determine the radon activity present over the duration of the test.
The basic components of the E-PERM® System consist of the electret reader, chambers, and electrets. There are chambers of different sizes and electrets of different sensitivities to meet a wide range of monitoring situations. Typically, a more sensitive electret, referred to as an ST Electret, is used for short-term measurements, and an LT, or less sensitive electret, is used for longer term measurements. They are known as “true integrators” because they are constantly collecting and “registering” the ions generated by the radon decaying inside the chamber.
Water Flow Rate Test
This test is done when the buyer wishes to have confirmed there is adequate water supply from a well to accommodate the water requirements of living in a house that large.
By testing the flow rate the buyer will learn if the water supply is fine or perhaps it runs out within the 60 min. test or some other issue arises as indicated in the sample flow rate test report below. When issues arise we get a well or filter equipment company to provide a solution. Low water supply may require the installation of a plastic cistern the and well pump can pump water into that for later use.
Water Potability and Quality Sampling
Cost - $100
For water sample tests I take a sample of the cold water from the kitchen sink faucet after running the water for at least 20 minutes. This allows the water pressure tank to cycle a few times and assures the sample is not from a stagnant source. I take the sample to Kaupas Water in Silverthorne for analysis. Attached is a sample water analysis report from Kaupas. This report is forwarded to the client. Please note Kaupas Water is not a State Certified Lab but does have a State Certified LabTechnician. Tests results from Kaupas do not qualify for federal home mortgages like FHA or VA loans. Please see the Water Quality Report
Perhaps the most serious consequence of an improper ventilation setup is the potential accumulation of mold in attics or crawlspaces. Mold may appear as a fuzzy, thread-like, cobwebby fungus, although it can never be identified with certainty without being lab-tested.
Health problems caused by mold are related to high concentrations of spores in indoor air. Spores are like microscopic seeds, released by mold fungi when they reproduce. Every home has mold. Moisture levels of about 20% in materials will cause mold colonies to grow. Inhaling mold spores can cause health problems in those with asthma or allergies, and can cause serious or fatal fungal infections in those with lung disease or compromised immune systems.
Mold is impossible to identify visually and must be tested by a lab in order to be confidently labeled. A General Home Inspection is an inspection for safety and system defects, not a mold inspection.
Decay, which is rot, is also caused by fungi. Incipient or early decay cannot be seen. By the time decay becomes visible, affected wood may have lost up to 50% of its strength.
In order to grow, mold fungi require the following conditions to be present:
• temperatures between approximately 45° F and 85° F
• food (this includes a wider variety of materials foundhis includes a wider variety of materials found in homes)
If insufficient levels of any of these requirements exist, all mold growth will stop and fungi will go dormant. Most are difficult to actually kill.
Even though mold growth may take place in the attic, mold spores can be sucked into the living areas of a residence by low air pressure. Low air pressure is usually created by the expulsion of household air from exhaust fans in bathrooms, dryers, kitchens and heating equipment.